Looking Beyond Quality Perceptions to Customer Satisfaction with Technology Performance-based Acquisition Services

Looking Beyond Quality Perceptions to Customer Satisfaction with Technology Performance-based Acquisition Services

Author: 
Felipe A. Cuesta
Program of study: 
D.M./IST
Abstract: 
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) leaders spend billions of dollars annually in information technology (IT) solutions and help-desk services but struggle to meet best commercial business practices. Poor business practices have historically made the DOD’s infrastructure acquisition processes vulnerable to high risk of fraud, waste, and mismanagement. Implementing the right set of performance-based metrics within IT-awarded contracts increases the potential for DOD leaders to be better stewards of taxpayers’ dollars. This quantitative correlational study involved measuring correlation levels between customer-perceived service quality and satisfaction for wide-ranging technology solutions and help-desk services delivered to a DOD organization operating in the DOD IT Performance-based Service Acquisition (PBSA) setting. The study included a new information systems survey instrument developed to identify 6 determinants of quality service (reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, quality of communications, and perceived value) and 11 predictors of customer satisfaction. Implementing the new metrics parallels commonly used commercial practices of return on investment through assessing the value added of customer satisfaction with services rendered. The DOD IT PBSA decision makers who implement these measures will have a tangible means of improving customer service and satisfaction across the organization through active engagement and observation of technology suppliers and providers and a customer base to drive cost-cutting measures and valued efficacy.
Dedication: 
Life is a journey that follows a concealed plan hosted by Providence and materialized by our actions. The doctoral journey was not of my own doing; rather, it was a shared, heart-felt incentive of many friends and family members who walked alongside providing inspiration. I dedicate this research to my dear friend Virginia, whose skillful use of the word opened many DOD doors of support. Moreover, I dedicate this research to my adored wife, Deborah, and my two Eagle Scout sons, Tony and Alex, of whom I am so proud.
Acknowledgements: 
Sincere appreciation goes to all my colleagues and friends who contributed to this valiant effort, for their encouragement to overcome the status quo, and for their advice, which I highly value. A special mention of appreciation goes to Col. Donald Fielden, Col. Glen Genove, and Mr. Glen Gullekson for their unwavering confidence in me and their complete endorsement of this research study. To my father and mother, I am most grateful for the words of encouragement, “keep reaching,” which still echo dearly as a vivid memory of times past. I owe immeasurable indebtedness to my Aunt Maria who with kindness and love took me into her home and treated me as one of her own; her nurturing spirit provided a strong foundation for success in a world filled with professional and academic challenges. I was extremely honored and thankful to have Dr. Joseph Baugh as mentor and chair and Dr. David Filer and Dr. Xianbin Li as doctoral committee members; their scrutiny of hundreds of pages and their recommendations helped me discern valuable insight throughout this doctoral journey.